Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

The Monument – a short sequel

April 4, 2013

Three years ago this very day, God received many earthly guests for the official dedication of the Monument erected to the eternal Glory of Himself and his Family. I wrote a piece about it, which a lot of you rather liked.

Today, as Senegal celebrates its 53rd birthday, it’s a good occasion to revisit the story of the Monument for the African Renaissance, designed to portray, according to God’s own words, an Africa “that emerges from obscurantism, prejudice and other ills.” It always takes religion, no matter which one, to create a gap as wide as the Pacific between words and actions.

Senegal is trying to recover from God’s reign and the Monument remains a powerful symbol of everything that was wrong with it. There is, for instance, the matter of who paid for this? And how much? The financial construction was rather…obscure and involved the sale of prime Dakar real estate to the North Korean company Mansudae Overseas that built the monstrosity. We don’t talk any longer about the blight on the horizon of this great city but a poll would in all likelihood reveal a majority in favour of blowing the damn thing up. Allegedly, current president Macky Sall pledged such during his winning campaign. But that might be rumour.

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So yes, you got that right: in order to build His Monument, God, otherwise known as the former president of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade, an avowed free market politician and a conservative liberal sold a piece of his country to a hereditary kingdom, nominally communist. The details of this deal are currently under investigation by officials of an agency called the General State Inspection.

But there is more news. And as always, anything to do with the Wade era revolves around the only thing that really matters to him, money.

You may remember that Wade had declared himself the intellectual owner of the Monument. Of course. This is, after all, the same man who during his last campaign declared that those who failed to acknowledge His achievements ought to be…struck with blindness. Very merciful, very compassionate.

Now, as the Designer-In-Chief, Wade had declared that 35% of the proceeds would flow into his extraordinarily wide and deep pockets. Except that he was not the D-I-C. And now, current minister for Culture Abdoul Aziz Mbaye has declared that as far as he is concerned, the ex-president will not get a penny. ‘Let him first tell us how he is, by rights, the author,’ the minister declared.

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How times have changed. Incredibly, God lost an election last year and has, appropriately, retired to Versailles. L’État, c’est Moi, n’est-ce pas? According to newspaper reports he is bored out of his skull. Meanwhile, the communist Kingdom of North Korea is going through an unusually tempestuous phase of its ritual sabre-rattling. Obscurantism had to be forcefully removed from neighbouring Mali and remains defiantly undefeated. And the minister for Tourism, a certain Youssou Ndour, has his work cut out for him because Senegal has fallen off the holiday map.

All of which means: no income from the Monument for Mister Wade. And here’s a pretty merciless cartoonist, who thinks that the man who disfigured Dakar’s horizon forever may well be falling on very hard times indeed…

The minister: 'Giving you money for a work that belongs to me - no way.' Street vendor, uncannily looking like a former president: 'But it's me the artist! Give me my money!!'

The minister: ‘Giving you money for a work that belongs to me – no way.’ Street vendor, uncannily looking like a former president: ‘But it’s me the artist! Give me my money!!’